There is a weaver who lives in the soul of every woman. She teaches her to look at her time like a big ball of thread and her gifts as the needles with which to shape her life. The weaver of the soul teaches us to untie knots and alchemically transform them into open pathways for us.
That is why they say that when you arrive at the house of a soul-weaving woman you must pay close attention. If you enter her space you may find yourself smoking a pipe, creating a tapestry made with your own hands or telling a story. Your time there may actually give you strands of yourself that you have not managed to tame or some you may not recognize, keys to awaken the weaver of the soul that sleeps inside of you. There may even be words in the form of stories which open you to a new way of seeing.
What no old weaver or spider woman ever does is waste time.
There are stories that tell the story of women weavers and of the threads of soul throughout the length and breadth of this world. These stories remind every woman the way in which to restore her inner skeleton and that her own paradise can in fact be built.
This is why I am here to tell you the real story of Ronin Wano, an allegory for the wound of all women and for the Earth herself.
Long ago in a far away country lived the only granddaughter. Her grandmother educated her to cross-stitch and how to discover word by word the ancestral threads that weave memory and spin life. Truths whispered to the soul of the naive granddaughter and gave her strength and desire for life.
Growing up, the girl had to teach all of the other women of her village to keep the soul of their life alive.
They called her Ronin Wano, servant of the serpent.
In her village the spirit of the river prevailed. From the deepest waters of the river was born an anaconda who keeps the knowledge and secrets with which one day long ago all of the grandmothers spun memory, wove existence and birthed our future.
For many years the grandmother sent her granddaughter to the deepest part of the river to learn the language of the water and listen to the story of their own grandmothers. Grandmother would send her to the top of the highest cedars in order to learn the secrets that female birds tell their children. She would send her to climb the most difficult cliffs so that she would lose the fear of dying and choose to live.
Every night of the full moon, the grandmother her granddaughter would go to the houses of the bored women and remind them of the strength, flexibility and faith in life that all women carry.
Time went by and the granddaughter grew up. Everything changed.
The millenary trees were felled and sold. Her daughters’ daughters had grown up contemplating a television, rejecting their indigenous inheritance and forgetting the simple exercise of being.
When Ronin Wano became a grandmother her people no longer felt attached to trees, water, or Moon; nor to the womb with its’ cycles. It was then that the old woman knew that her stories should reach the women from beyond the great river of her village. Women who had never learned to create the tapestry of their own lives must also remember the knowledge of all of our grandmothers.
Grandmother knew that together we must all weave the soul our lives.
It is common in the life of the modern woman to find herself in front of a crossroads which no one has prepared her for; on the one hand the path marked by the education of the patriarchal world in which she has grown up and on the other hand face the challenge of finding her own threads. Threads which are almost always invisible to the eyes but not to the heart and that have the gift of uniting the inheritance of wise grandmothers with all women everywhere.
Where to go? How to find these threads, your threads? How to start to weave your own life and feel complete?
In the Greek tragedies sometimes the woman dies to be reborn, freezes to be
rediscovered, becomes exhausted to gain her strength back and learns to preform alchemy with emotions until she finds inside herself the threads that unite everything.
Life, which always goes on, teaches us that as well.
I have a one hundred-year-old grandmother who knits with her hands; bedspreads, dresses, curtains, cloths and all the while without speaking. She teaches the art of weaving life. Every day choose a sample of all the materials that make up the work of your life. Study them and then take the threads and weave with your right hand while the left hand counts the threads. Between your fingers exists a dance that joins your head and your heart without losing sight of your goal. My grandmother opens her window wide so that the light enters, looks through the eyes of her soul and while spinning wool is protected from her heart becoming cold.
For thousands of years, under the patriarchal society, the soul of the woman has slept, was silenced and has suffered the deep wounds which I too have inherited. Yet the invisible thread of memory kept our ancestral wisdom alive; feminine beyond the mind, right in the center of the heart. This is why the woman breaks apart when she moves away from what really matters. The weaver of the soul is present in the stories of all ancestral cultures and has survived in memory as the Gene inside the lamp. Remember? I have to know how to rub the lamp so that the Gene may reveal itself.
I was born and grew up in a plateau town with a mountain and a river where the rawness of the Earth teaches us how to live the cycles. In Winter the voracious cold of the frost and ice push inwards and around all the chimneys there are people who sing romances. In the Spring the flowers arrive and we all wake up to life. Then follows great walks to the Summer river which teach us how to flow. When the Fall arrives apple trees fill with fruit, the elders tell stories and from the hills of the Douro sometimes comes the howling of the she-wolf that has strayed from her herd.
All of that is part of my inheritance as a woman and yet I’ve replaced with it with asphalt when I arrived to the city. When my soul froze I needed to find a way out of the labyrinth.
I found it by attaching myself to a very thin thread that took me to the land of the Amazons where East and West come together. A place where for thousands of years women and Earth have been made to serve the soul of the world, located right next to the biblical Eden where -for some- the apple brought out the first men and women from paradise. It is there where according to Herodotus and the first historians lived the Amazons where the stories of the mythical goddesses were born thousands of years ago. The old weavers sowed in the soul of the world’s stories destined to guide women in the art of weaving their lives. So much so that event now the old peasant women still repeat, to fix in the memory of their granddaughters, that when a woman is fragmented her soul can still be cured.
Since I began that trip every time someone tells me an old inherited story or myth it usually happens that I feel like something inside of me opens up in order to let the words of the story settle in, crystalize and create new threads.